Following the aftermath of ‘Forever Evil’ and the realization that the Justice League of America were founded by the US government as a countermeasure to stand against the other, more famous Justice League, the team disbanded with some of the heroes heading north to Canada. Animal Man and Stargirl run afoul of an alien conspiracy and find themselves allied with Adam Strange (who is making his debut here, so he’s not yet zipping around wearing a jet-pack and wielding a ray gun). Eventually Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter show up to help.
Hawkman also has a cameo involving Lobo and we meet new character Equinox, a Canadian Cree girl with mystical abilities who should do about as well as other new young female characters that have been created specifically to be part of the Justice League, i.e. in five years I won’t remember her name, powers or that she even existed.
Mike McKone is one of the best artists in comics, in my opinion, and one of the most underrated. His work looks great here, as usual. And I have to point out Marcelo Maiolo’s colors, which really pop, and I love the neat black and white effects he employs in certain panels.
I may be wrong, but I suspect this initial storyline will actually adapt the origin of the original Justice League, pitching the heroes against elemental aliens. They already face a fire creature here and it seems to hint that they will face an electrical being.
This series is a replacement for ‘Justice League of America’ but I’m not sure if that is because this was where their storyline was headed to begin with or if sales necessitated a relaunch to drum up more interest. If so… I’m not sure that’s going to work. Both teams have been saddled with B-listers at BEST. Here we have headliners like Green Arrow, Animal Man and Supergirl and major legacy character Martian Manhunter, but Stargirl remains at best a “fan favorite” and Adam Strange hasn’t really been a “name” since the 60s. I just don’t know that there’s enough star power to buy this title. I honestly don’t think there need to be three different Justice Leagues and wouldn’t mind simply seeing these characters working alongside Superman, Batman and the others.
That said, this book was entertaining enough. The dialogue was fun. The art was amazing! The characters are likeable, so I hope that’s enough to bring in readers.
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art and Cover by Mike McKone